BE, don't follow.
by Teri Coutu
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to “follow your dream” I would be rich! This phrase has been used so much it’s become a platitude. But, I must admit, for years I believed in and repeated it often. It seemed inspiring and encouraging. But…. When we were on the bikes, with long stretches of road where I had no one to talk to but myself, it really hit me that “following your dream” doesn’t work.
Amidst the constant whirring of my motorcycle engine, and the vastness of I40 West to Phoenix, I was fully engaged in my dream of experiencing a vision quest, and I was making it happen. That’s when I realized following your dream doesn’t really work because it’s hard to accomplish and live your dream if it is not with you, but instead is always just out of reach in front.
Now, yes, I realize that having a dream to follow may provide inspiration and motivation to keep moving forward.
And, life IS definitely a journey, so enjoying the path leading to our dream is important. But, where does the achievement start and the following end? When do we get to feel good about the energy we are putting into our dream? Why not celebrate each success we experience, instead of waiting for a specific achievement?
When I lived in Jacksonville, I met a young man who was a remarkably talented saxophonist. His dream was to become a professional musician – a dream I related to very well. This kid played sax everyday, and performed several times a week. He was definitely a rising star, and I regularly encouraged him to “follow your dream.” But, looking back, he was already living his dream. He was playing music and making money at it. While it may not have been full-time, or at the level he desired to achieve, he was IN it. His dream-building was in a state of forward motion. All he needed to do was keep BEING in his dream, and I have no doubt it would continue to grow.
When you “BE Your Dream,” the dream is not out in front of you, it surrounds and is part of you, and you are part of it. Everything you do is touched by the energy of your dream. You feel it. You live it, breathe it, and even sleep with it. As you focus on it, it becomes clearer and brighter. And, as you grow, your dream grows with you.
So, I believe it's time we all stop following our dreams, and instead recognize that they are already part of us. Recognize that your dream is probably already in progress, and then do what you need to help it grow. Applaud yourself for the steps you have taken to make your dream part of your life, and continue to appreciate all you do in maintaining and building upon your efforts.
We feel good when our dreams become realities, so when you recognize you are engaging in your dream as you build it, I believe you'll find life more satisfying and joyful. Go BE Your Dream, and encourage others to do the same - the world needs all that positive energy!
DREAMING: It's only the first step
By Dolores Chandler
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!” It is VERY common that I start my Blog with a tune -- a melody is in the wind for this one as well. Imagine by John Lennon has been a favorite of mine since it was released in 1971. Music does inspire us, so I do not doubt that the power of this song influenced the dreamer within a nine-year-old girl. I am a dreamer, a visionary and encourager.
Fast forward, to now. I’m still a dreamer. I genuinely believe that “If you can dream it, you can do it.” (Walt Disney) The key word here is “DO!” A dream without action is just a dream. I’m here to encourage you to dream, don’t stop, ever. Imagine the world without dreamers—it sounds very dull to me!
As a dreamer, let me introduce you to a realist. Realists anchor us and provide a tether to the way things are or that appear impractical. They can keep us from soaring off into the unknown. Dreamers are vital, and so are realists.
The dreamers, the realists and those in between work in tandem. By working together, the possibilities are magical. A unique and fascinating dance is sure to be observed. Walt Disney didn’t just dream about the Magical Kingdom, and he didn’t do it by himself. The dream was just the first step!
If you have a song that plays in your head, a recurrent vision or idea, let it evolve. As you encounter obstacles, and you will, let these be the signpost on the journey, not the dead end. If you are easily deterred on the path to your destination, take time to explore and look at why.
Dreamer, ask yourself a few questions:
Realist, ask yourself similar questions:
Riding across the country was a dreamlike experience and a journey full of gratitude. We encountered amazing scenery, places, and people. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
In the movie, Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner was told: “If you build it, he will come.” The character in the film encountered naysayers, obstacles, and self-doubt. There was lots of work involved achieving the dream, he persisted, and the field became a reality. Never lose sight of the dream. Don’t follow your dreams - BE your dream. Be open to imagining the possibilities and get to work.
“I hope one day, you’ll join me and the world will be as one” – Imagine